I constantly travel. So I rely heavily on apps on my smartphone to help schedule and run my business. It’s no wonder, then, that I’m a self-professed smartphone addict. It seems I never put it down.
Sure, it offers so much convenience for my life as an entrepreneur. But a recent addition to our family has served as an extra reminder about the importance of maintaining a work-life balance. And I realized: constantly looking at my smartphone impacts that balance a great deal.
This experience has taught me I must do something different. I must not my smartphone offsett the work-life balance I’ve been striving to achieve, despite my workaholic bent. By sharing what I’ve learned, I hope to influence more people to put their smartphones in their place.
Here are some strategies I’ve implemented that have helped make my smartphone less of a distraction:
Set a Usage Smartphone Schedule
While this can be tricky since most of us are practically running our businesses from our smartphones, it is possible. I created an alert on my smartphone that told me when to step away from it. That includes texts, social media, email and browsing. Typically, I have my usage schedule for chunks of time in the early morning, midday and later in the evening. There are times where I may have to take a call. But typically everything else can wait until a designated period of time.
Establish Technology-Free Days or Vacations
I designate a day or two each month where I step away from my smartphone. It could be for the entire day, or for designated days during a vacation with my family. This ensures I spend quality time outdoors or with my wife and daughter, friends and family. It’s been the most difficult thing I’ve had to do. But this way I am able to make the most of the time spent doing what I care most about.
Ban Smartphones From Certain Activities
During our daily walks together, smartphones must be left back in the office. If I’m out with my daughter on a stroll, I also leave my phone at home and focus on her. Other places to ban your smartphone include the gym or movie theater. And, of course, dinner dates with loved ones and movie or game night with friends or family. These activities deserve are the types of things that really create that work-life balance.
Put It Out of Sight So It’s Out of Mind
When it’s close to bedtime, I keep my phone far away from sight. At work, I like to put it in a drawer or leave it in my pocket. That way, I don’t see it on my nightstand or desk. So I significantly reduce the temptation to revert back to my old tendencies.
Work Towards Weaning Yourself Off of Usage
I didn’t immediately take an entire day or two off from technology. But I had to essentially wean myself from using my smartphone as much as I was. I started by taking one less hour a day. Gradually, I added more time to what I was spending on other things in order to replace the smartphone usage. Within a month, I started to not miss it so much.
Stay Busy with More Important Things
I focused on activities with my friends and family as well as handling work processes that didn’t require my smartphone. Over time, I didn’t miss the once-treasured device as much as I thought I would.
Recognize the Place It Has in Your Life
It’s important to continually reflect on the idea that smartphones really do help us get balance in our lives. They provide us with apps that streamline our work. They shorten many jobs that often take us away from personal time. Smartphones can also help remind us when we need to focus on our personal lives. Now, I see my phone as a tool to pull out when I need to fix something or make an improvement. Otherwise, it goes back in the toolbox.
By sticking to these strategies, I feel more relaxed and happy. And I’m making great memories with the most important people in my life who mean so much more than a text, Facebook update or Instagram post.
Try some of these ideas out for yourself.
You may just see your own productivity level skyrocket at work, providing you with even more personal time to enjoy.
For this post, YouTern would like to thank our friends at Business Collective!